Anas grabs national record, misses Rio mark by a whisker

Anas bettered Arokia’s national record (45.47s), clocking a stunning 45.44s and missing the Rio Olympics qualifying standard (45.40) by four hundredth of a second.. Poovamma clocks season best, comes close to Rio time

Muhammed Anas shocked Asian Games bronze medallist Arokia Rajiv and broke the men’s national 400m record at Bydgoszcz on Friday.   -  SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

Kerala’s Muhammed Anas shocked Asian Games bronze medallist Arokia Rajiv and broke the men’s national 400m record in the Polish National athletics championship at Bydgoszcz on Friday evening.

Anas bettered Arokia’s national record (45.47s), clocking a stunning 45.44s and missing the Rio Olympics qualifying standard (45.40) by four hundredth of a second.

Since it was the Polish championship, there was a separate race for the Indians and Arokia finished second in 45.89s while P.P. Kunhumuhammed was third in 46.24.

A. Dharun was fourth while Mohan Kumar and Sumith Kumar, who took the next two spots, bettered their personal bests.

Meanwhile Karnataka’s M.R. Poovamma, last year’s Asian championship silver medallist, produced her season best as defeated Kerala’s Anilda Thomas, the fastest Indian quartermiler this year, to win the women’s event in 52.31s and coming close to Rio entry time of 52.20s. Anilda, who surprised Poovamma while winning the Federation Cup with a personal best 52.40s, was second in 52.72.

With the race for berths for the women’s mile relay team getting hot, West Bengal’s Debasree Majumdar and Kerala Anu Raghavan clocked their personal best, pushing down Juana Murmu who had been the third best quartermiler in the country this season.

Jithin Paul, who was offered a spot in one of the 400m hurdles heats, clocked 50.06s, a bit slower than his personal best of 49.79 which came at Samorin in Slovakia early this month. The Olympics qualification time in the event is 49.40s.

The results:

Men’s 400m: 1. Muhammed Anas (45.44s national record, OR Arokia Rajiv’s 45.47s), 2. Arokia Rajiv (45.89s), 3. P.P. Kunhumuhammed (46.24), 4. A. Dharun (46.44), 5. Mohan Kumar (46.64), 6. Sumith Kumar (46.92), 7. A. Lalith (47.00).

400m hurdles: 1. Jithin Paul (50.06s).

Women’s 400m: 1. M.R. Poovamma (52.31s), 2. Anilda Thomas (52.72), 3. Debasree Majumdar (53.30), 4. Anu Raghavan (53.72), 5. Aswini Akkunji (53.98), 6. Juana Murmu (54.13), 7. Priyanka Panwar (54.23), 8. Sini Jose (54.89).